We all know what a website is, mostly the basics. If someone would ask you what a domain is, you would answer it point-blank. But if someone were to ask you what web hosting is, would you be able to give a confident constructive answer?
People who run websites/and Blogs would be able to answer because they have an idea what it is, but shockingly, most of them don’t even know about web hosting as they should.
In this article, you are going to learn about:
- What it takes to run a website
- What web hosting is and different types of web hosting
- Web hosting companies.
What Does It Take To Run A Website?
A website is a collection of files that sit on a computer. It’s common knowledge that you need a computer that has a great Internet connection. They are two ways you can run a website.
One is an expensive and harder way because it will take a lot of effort, and the other is expensive too but affordable and is very easy.
The harder route would be to run a website from your desktop computer. This is a bad idea from the get-go because you would have to do several things to make sure everything is running as it should be. You would have to:
- Leave it on and connected to the Internet all the time
- You would have to have the knowledge it takes to know how to set it up properly and run a website
- Your desktop computer is designed for one user to have access to it. If any of your family members were to use the computer, your Internet connection would be destabilized, thus your website would stop working.
This is unnecessary jargon you don’t need in your life. Putting your money towards something should make it easier not harder! This is where web hosting companies come in and save the day.
Websites run on servers and instead of doing everything on your own and wasting your efforts, you can simply buy a server.
Hence the name web hosting. Web hosting providers are willing to do the hard work for you for a recommended fee.
What Are The Different Types Of Web Hosting?
I wish web hosting was really simple and just served the same purpose! Unfortunately, this is not the case. When you purchase a web hosting plan, you are bombarded with lots of information and terms that can be quite overwhelming.
Most marketers are trying to sell you something without giving you the information you need to make a smart decision on your purchase.
You end up purchasing because of the excitement you have when you can’t wait to create your website. You end up learning that there is so much about hosting when it’s already late. Always read the manual first.
There are four common types of hosting.
1. Shared Hosting
2. Dedicated Hosting
This is the most common type of hosting. Shared hosting is very inexpensive and the least efficient. This is because several customers share the same computer.
All of the customers’ different websites and accounts are stored on the same drive, processed by the same CPU, and delivered by the same web server.
This is why it’s the least expensive. The company is allocating a few resources for you.
There are disadvantages to shared hosting. One, all the websites from all of the accounts are competing for the same limited computer resources.
If your site is popular with hundreds or thousands of visitors in several minutes, your site has a very high chance of crashing.
This is why it’s advisable to purchase shared hosting if you are starting then migrate to better hosting further on when you are gaining a community.
Vulnerability in Security
You can get by with shared hosting if you are running a simple personal blog, but it can be quite hazardous for small and large businesses because you can open up your website to risk no matter how careful you are. There can be a loophole for attackers if your software is left vulnerable.
Another catastrophic scenario is that you share the same IP address with other sites on the same server. If one of them is using their account to send spam email and illegal behavior, you may find your sites being blocked by email filters and content firewalls. You may never even know this is happening.
Dedicated Server Hosting
Dedicated Server Hosting is more expensive and complex, but it has many advantages, one is that you have complete control over an entire server.
This is great because you are the captain of your ship. You have complete access to the server that is running your website. This means you can install any kind of software you like, make changes to the operating system, and tweak configuration settings.
This type of hosting is great for certain applications that are running an enterprise management system or building custom software.
What’s also great about this hosting is that you alone are consuming server resources which will guarantee speed and performance to your website.
The advantages are great but you need to put in the effort because of the responsibility it takes to keep all your software up to date, etc.
Nothing beneficial comes cheap but if you compare it with shared hosting, you are the only one with a sever because, with shared hosting, there can be over 80 customers on a single server.
Virtual Private Server
Here you have your dedicated server, but it isn’t a physical one, it is a virtual machine. With this type of hosting, you have complete control over the environment, very much like a dedicated server.
This is beneficial if you are planning to develop a custom application or a software business.
You also have access to more than enough server resources. The various virtual machines are all sharing server resources, you are allocated a much larger portion of the overall computing power and bandwidth.
There are very few security issues. VPS accounts have their IP address, and the virtualization layer means that you are insulated from any problems that might arise from problems on the other sites.
Managed hosting is a plan that combines the bandwidth and power of a VPS or Dedicated server that doesn’t require the technical knowledge of server administration.
With certain managed to host plans, you have direct access to a VPS or a dedicated server, and the hosting company provides support in addition to that core hosting service.
This ensures that you have the flexibility to do what you want or need to do without needing to know everything about server administration.
Managed hosting is a name given to describe lots of different types of plans but the commonality they share is that the hosting company provides technical support.
Some managed hosting plans are geared toward specific applications like WordPress, and your interaction with them is limited to the one installation. The whole environment has been configured to give the best experience with one application.
Web Hosting Companies
Web hosting companies are here to make your work easier by working to serve your needs. They have their expensive optimized computers and fast Internet connection that have been set up to run and accommodate millions and millions of websites.
On top of that, they provide you with tools for managing and building and running your website.
In much simpler terms, Web hosting companies store your files in one of their computers because of the huge resources they have.
There is a variety of web hosting plans but they all fall under three categories which are:
- Shared hosting – It’s very cheap, but not powerful enough which makes it good for small projects on a budget.
- VPS hosting – which is often referred to as ‘cloud-based’ or ‘scalable’ is appropriate for serious businesses. Both VPS and dedicated server plans are available in managed hosting plans.
- Dedicated server hosting – is very expensive and complex. If you think you don’t need it you probably don’t.
To know what services and features to look for in a web hosting company Click here.